Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Friday’s Roe v. Wade, thousands of people gathered in New York to express their fears and rage over the historic decision to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion.
Protesters, hundreds of whom had first gathered in Union Square in Manhattan on Friday afternoon before marching along Fifth Avenue and merging with growing crowds in Washington Square Park, shouted against the decision. Some chanted through bull horns while others held up signs, including a large banner that read, “Unfair decisions will not be respected.”
Emma Handler, 27, a theater worker who lives in Kensington, Brooklyn, said that for a few unelected judges to have the power to “make these decisions about our lives, our health and our well-being is deeply dystopian”.
“People will die of this choice, and I hope those in power have it on their conscience,” Ms Handler added. “I’m just sad.”
Those who had shown up earlier in Union Square staged a brief sit-in along Fifth Avenue near East Eighth Street, momentarily blocking traffic while chanting, “This is what solidarity looks like.”
Minutes later, they headed to nearby Washington Square Park, where thousands of others – including state Attorney General Letitia James – had amassed
Sitting in a tree above the crowd, Kate Coiro, 23, held a sign saying, “You can’t be pro-gun and pro-life.
“It was the first time that I felt personally attacked by a government decision,” said Ms. Coiro, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “I want people to know that nobody likes abortion, including the people who get it. It’s nobody’s plan A. But if you can’t raise a child, you shouldn’t have to.
Elsewhere in the park, Susan Hamblin, who was visiting New York from Idaho, said she could barely pull herself together on Friday when she first heard about the decision.
“I couldn’t sit still. I had a severe headache and every cell in my body felt like I had to get out and take a stand,” said Ms Hamblin, 56, who was a child when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.
“Over my lifetime, that changed,” she said of the court’s stance on abortion. “It’s inhumane.”
Julianne McShane contributed report.